My client had declared February to be ‘Italian month’ at her store. She planned to give classes on Italian themes, such as making fresh pasta, gnocchi, ravioli, various pasta sauces and finally, dessert pizza. And so these were the topics of my writing assignments for the month.


It was quite an enjoyable process – I couldn’t believe there was so much to know about making fresh pasta. Which I suppose shouldn’t have surprised me, now that I really think about it, because in spite of writing as if I knew everything there was to know about making pasta – the dark, grim truth of it is that I have never, ever made fresh pasta. Now when my dear friend Dave discovered this, he was quite concerned and murmured something about my being a ‘fraud’. So in a brave attempt to rescue me from my terrible fraudulent state, he plied me with his very own pasta machine, complete a whole new, unopened packet of dopio (Italian ‘00’ flour, a MUST for making pasta) flour.


Sadly, I remain just that – a fraud. Because each time I think of making fresh pasta, I think of a hundred other reasons not too. Apart from knowing that the weather has to be not so humid, that there shouldn’t be a draught in the kitchen, and I must let the dough rest for an hour, before I begin putting it through the machine, and then I must cook it either straightaway, or dry it or freeze it – I usually also have at least one packed of dried pasta in my pantry.


And if you must know – yes, quite frankly I’d hate to make an attempt and end up with a gloop of sticky fetuccine (Dave tells me that’s how his machine makes pasta) and feel like an even bigger fraud. And – really, truly and honestly, I just haven’t got time!


While we’re at it, I’ll add here that I’ve not made gnocchi or ravioli, either. But I do know how to write about them! Guess that’s why I’m a writer, not a cook.